7th Dec ’11 (taken from my personal journal)

Richard Bach said “Your life is yours, and yours alone. What you choose to do with it is up to you.

After a lot of thought about how one relates to, and how it fits in with family, I can no longer agree with this… although, in the past I strongly agreed – possibly a throwback to the BAMA way of thought…?

If the condition of partnership is applied, be it; lover, husband or wife, a person to live with, close friends, etc, then at the point that one enters into any of these relationships, one is giving away a part of their life to the other. But it is traded in trust that they are also giving you a part of their life.

The use of the word ‘life’ needs to be clarified here. It is used with the following intent:
When one chooses to partake in a lasting relationship, one is, by default, surrendering a part of themselves to allowing the actions, thoughts, ideas, loves and hates, desires, emotional attachments, etc, of another to have their subsequent effects (desired or otherwise) to affect one’s own way of life.
When choosing to partake in a close relationship  you are not only allowing another person into your life, but are also accepting that they are allowing you into their life. It is an agreement of trust and of mutual consent.
There is also a bond of trust that you will not walk away from a difficult situation, but that you will stay and fight their corner with them.

If a person later becomes a parent (intentionally or otherwise) then the same sharing of your life does not occur.
It is a different mechanism.
By becoming a parent, you are bringing into existence the life of another. You are not choosing to bond with them (although, that invariably occurs anyway), but you are placing yourself in the position of mentor, friend and disciplinarian… it might be argued by some that you own that life as it is an extension of your own.
However, I can only see that the viewpoint of ownership would create a relationship of dictator and subject… not a healthy one.

When it comes to relationships with work colleagues, fellow knitting club members, or similar, you start in the position as advocated by Richard Bach above, until you reach a position whereby you are acting as friend to individuals, or the group. At this point, you have again, given away a part of your life.
This becomes evident when frustration is felt when working hard on their behalf, but seeing that others are not giving help back.
The frustration is a product of you giving away a part of your life with the understanding that you will, in turn, be receiving a part of theirs. When this is not returned, negative emotions arise. One is then, eventually, faced with the decision of whether to stay as a part of the group, or to turn around and walk away.

So, it seems that one could live their life in the manner of Richard Bach’s maxim above, but they will find that they will never fit in with social or familial groups.
As a result, it seems that he is right in what he says, but what must be understood is that if one does not choose to sacrifice / give away / or share a part of their life with another, then it will be a lonely, less rewarding life.